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Entries in sex differences (30)

Tuesday
May272014

Women are More Socially Anxious than Men – But Only Just

Many social situations can provoke anxiety. Be it a networking event for work or having unannounced guests, these kind of interactions can cause even the most outgoing among us to feel unsettled. But do these feelings differ between the sexes?

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Wednesday
Jan082014

Cross-Sex Friendships: Hazardous to Your Mental Health?

A reader asked: Is it true that girls who have more guy friends than girl friends are less likely to have anxiety and depression? What does research say about girls who have more guy friends than girl friends?

Interesting question. Before I respond in more detail, I’ll cut to the chase: In my review of the existing research, I couldn’t find a study that directly answers your question about whether having more opposite-sex (OS) than same-sex (SS) friends raises psychological health in women. However, this is what we do know from the research:

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Thursday
Nov212013

“Would You Go To Bed With Me Tonight?”: Stigma and the Sexual Double Standard

When it comes to casual, uncommitted, non-emotional sex, there is a strong gender stereotype: men are more interested in doing it (literally) than women. We have covered research examining this phenomenon—on the surface, it appears as though men are much more excited about having sex with a complete stranger, whereas women seem to be grossed out. Some researchers suggest that this is because of an innate biological difference between the sexes; men have a stronger desire for casual sex because they want to maximize reproductive success, while women are more interested in acquiring resources from a committed partner, and thus choosier about whom they mate with.

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Tuesday
Oct292013

Sometimes it Really is About the Nail: Women, Men, and Communication

If you haven’t watched this video yet, I urge you to immediately stop everything that you are doing and click play. On second thought, even if you have already seen this video, you should probably do the same thing. I don’t want to oversell this, but you are about to witness true relationship genius. Your chance to see it, before I spoil it with this article, is going, going, gone!

For those who didn’t watch, I’ll do my best to summarize what you missed. We join a couple in the midst of a conversation about an issue that the female partner is having. She’s describing the painful symptoms and woeful emotions that she is experiencing (e.g., pressure, aching feeling in her head, snagged sweaters), when her partner makes the imprudent mistake of offering a rather practical suggestion for fixing the problem. The unexpected twist…she’s not describing the type of stressor you’ve imagined; she actually has a nail in her head! When her partner suggests removing the nail, she accuses him of never listening and of being emotionally unsupportive. A funny play on the belief that women would rather talk through an issue than solve it, even when it’s as straightforward as having a nail in the head!

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Monday
Oct072013

Men’s and Women’s (Not So) Different Attitudes about Romance and Sex

There is a common assumption that men and women are very different and perhaps originate from different planets. Although the “males and females are fundamentally different” narrative may be the prevailing opinion, it is science’s duty to determine whether these ideas are common sense or common nonsense. The “men and women are different” idea is perhaps most pervasive with respect to individuals’ thoughts about sex and romance. Common knowledge suggests that men are hypersexual and women are more reserved, but when it comes to romance, women are much more enthusiastic than men. Findings from survey research seem to support these general assumptions.1,2 With surveys, however, participants report their own feelings, so it may be that participants feel pressure to conform to existing stereotypes. Rather than ask men and women how they consciously feel, in order to get to their true feelings, two University of New Brunswick researchers measured participants’ unfiltered feelings by tapping into their automatic responses.3 The researchers hypothesized that participants unfiltered responses may not conform to existing stereotypes.

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Saturday
Apr272013

Men and Women: The Definitive Difference

From thedoghousediaries.com. Read more about research on sex differences here and here.

Friday
Apr262013

Not So Different? Not So Fast!

Thursday
Apr252013

Dear John Gray, Please Read This

Are men and women really that different from one another? Despite what many believe, and what some alleged experts might tell you, women and men are more similar than they are different on most meaningful psychological dimensions. New research by Drs. Bobbi Carothers and Harry Reis highlight these similarities well. Read more here and here.

Check out Dr. Amy Muise's post on this topic here.

Friday
Mar152013

"Wanna Go to Bed With Me?" (a.k.a. "Get Away from Me, Creep" vs. "Where Do I Sign Up?")

What if you were sitting at a café, the park, or a beer garden (the latter being where you’re most likely to find me) and someone you’ve never met before approached you. Doesn’t seem too bad at this point, right? Now, what if this stranger then attempted to solicit casual sex from you? What would you say?

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Tuesday
Feb122013

Bad Valentine’s Day Gifts: Do They Hurt Your Relationship?

Now that Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, you may be worried about picking out the perfect gift for your partner. Is it something he will like? Will she be disappointed by your efforts? And how is a partner’s response to your Valentine's Day gift related to thoughts about the future of your relationship?

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Thursday
Nov082012

For Better or Worse…In Marriage, Men May Get More of the Better 

True confession time: Before we (the authors of this article) got engaged, Charlotte already had a specific date and time reserved for the church where our wedding would be held.1 Although no ultimatum was ever given, it was pretty clear to Patrick that after living together for several years, it was time for him to think about marriage. Needless to say, the ring was bought, the wedding occurred on the given date at the nonnegotiable location, and we have been living happily ever after. Our story is hardly unique. Common wisdom suggests that young women can’t wait to walk down the aisle whereas young men grudgingly make the trek to the altar. Women may start planning their weddings long before their partners have a ring picked out, but perhaps women need to think more carefully about what they are getting into.

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Sunday
Oct212012

Sexuality Is Complicated...So Here's A Summary

Thursday
Aug302012

How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Show You the Ways

Recently, while procrastinating on Facebook, I stumbled across a post written by one of my good friends. She was raving about how her husband completed all of the tasks on her “honey-do” list. “I have the best husband ever!” she gushed. When I asked her about it later—specifically, why she was so ecstatic that he did some simple chores—she looked at me like I had fallen off the moon. “Duh,” she said. “It shows how much he loves me.” I couldn’t help but smile (you know, the kind of smile you give when you’re about to school someone), because my colleagues and I recently put this idea to the test. And what we found might surprise you.

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Wednesday
Jul252012

"Hooking Up" – What is it Exactly?

“Hooking up” has become a catch-all phrase in our culture to describe casual romantic or sexual activity. Despite the pervasiveness of the phrase, however, no one (lay people or relationship scientists) has a solid, agreed-upon definition for exactly what it is. What specifically does “hooking up” entail? A recent review article sheds light on this question.

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Tuesday
Jul242012

Hot Women Make Men Dumb and Dumber

Most of us have experienced a gut-cringing moment in which we made an embarrassing comment or did something idiotic in front of a person we were trying to impress. Even smart guys are not immune to this; look at how The Big Bang Theory’s Leonard Hofstadter’s staggering IQ of 170+ plummets whenever he sees Penny. Unfortunately, guys, it looks like this cognitive decline in the presence of the opposite sex affects only those in the male population.

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Monday
Jul232012

Premature Sextaculation

Although I have had a few dates with The Consultant, I don’t want to get too serious too quickly. In the meantime, there are still a number of guys showing interest in me on the internet dating site I have been using (which I will gladly name for a hefty fee). One guy in particular has been flirting with me quite voraciously. But he lives about an hour away, so it has not been easy to arrange a date. We recently were finally able to set something up.

A few days before the big event, he started sexting me. At first, it wasn’t totally obvious because flirtatious texting typically has sexual undertones like “I’m really looking forward to seeing you this weekend”; we had been doing a lot of that up to this point. His new approach, however, was different. His sexual references were now very explicit and his intentions became quite clear. Then, he texted a photo of himself wearing boxer briefs with a fully pitched trouser tent. Well, at least he had his underwear on. The text accompanying the picture read, “Here is a taste of the trouble you’re getting into on Friday!”

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Wednesday
Jul042012

"Conflict Avoidance": Relationship Matters Podcast #13

A new Relationship Matters (the official podcast of the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships) has just been released. Dr. Tamara Afifi (Univ. of California, Santa Barbara) talks about why women find (conflict) avoidance more dissatisfying than men. Check it out here.

Thursday
Apr192012

The Top 20 Most Desired Personality Traits in a Future Spouse

What do you want in a husband or wife? Though not exactly Weird Science, in a classic survey researchers asked 200 newlyweds and over 100 undergraduates in heterosexual dating relationships what traits they prefer in a spouse.1 These ratings were obtained by presenting study participants with a series of 40 trait pairs such as “timid-bold,” “emotional-unemotional,” and “stupid-intelligent.” Participants then indicated which of the two adjectives they preferred in a spouse. In addition, researchers also asked participants about their own personality traits.

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Monday
Nov282011

Healthy Men (But Not Women) Have Better Sex and Happier Relationships

As if you needed one more reason to feel guilty for couch-surfing when you should be kick-boxing, a recent study on long-term relationships indicates that men in excellent or good health have better sex than their flabbier or sickly peers. The good news doesn’t stop there: healthier dudes are nearly twice as likely to report relationship happiness outside the bedroom as well.

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Wednesday
Nov092011

I Always Thought I Was Straight, But Now I’m Not So Sure: Can Our Sexual Desires Change?  

Confused and Heartbroken asked the following:

I am a very straight 20 year old girl. I have only dated men until earlier this year. One of my very close friends last spring told me she was bi-sexual. We had become very close already and had developed a very strong friendship. After she came out to me I realized my feelings intensified and after admitting it to her we ended up in a very heated moment and kissed. Things were wonderful for about two weeks when she basically abandoned me and our friendship.

That was the last week of April and the first week of May of this year. We were apart for the summer with very limited communication and I ended up starting to date a very good friend of mine from my hometown. Things are going wonderfully with him but since I've come back to school and been around her I've been lonely and missing her more and more. We've talked and I've finally managed to get some answers to my questions but I'm still in love with her. I don't understand or know why I am attracted to her because I've never found myself attracted to women before and I certainly don't know why I'm still so attached.

Please help me. :(

Sincerely, 
Confused and Heartbroken

Dear Confused and Heartbroken,

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